500 mosquito bites ‘unlimited autograph session’… “Baseball player Park Yong-taek, did you have a good life?”

“I wanted to have a retirement ceremony that baseball fans will never forget.”

I wanted to show that there are retirement ceremonies like this, and it actually happened.

Park Yong-taek (43), a successful ‘baseball player’ who played professionally for 19 years, said goodbye to the fans who supported him in his own way.

Park held a retirement ceremony and permanent reproductive ceremony at the Lotte Giants-LG Twins match held at Jamsil Stadium on the 3rd. LG’s jersey number ’33’, which he wore as a pro in 2002 and until his retirement in 2020, will remain in Park’s possession forever.

The retirement ceremony itself may not be a special story. Commissioner Park rolled up his arms and made his day an unforgettable event.

The secret weapon he took out is the ‘sign’. Commissioner Park, who met fans for about three hours before the game and signed autographs, declared early on that an ‘unlimited autograph session’ would be held after the game.

In fact, since I’ve been signing autographs all my life, I wondered if there would be many people who didn’t have their autographs, and I thought that there would be quite a few people who gave up seeing the long lines lining up.

Expectations were nicely shattered. Commissioner Park said, “Surely more people came than I expected. I thought it would take 2 or 3 hours, but it was over 5 hours,” he laughed.

The line for the autograph session did not decrease even after midnight. As news spread that the autograph session was continuing through the baseball community, baseball fans who were nearby also flocked in one after another. Park’s autograph session, which started outside the stadium around 10 p.m., ended at 3:30 in the morning.

Park said, “I saw not only Lotte, but also Samsung, Doosan, KIA, and Hanwha uniforms,” he laughed. It was Park’s autograph session that really brought baseball fans together.

“I think I was bitten by 500 mosquitoes. Afterwards, I was so numb,” he recalled. “When I looked back, I couldn’t even eat properly that day. It’s strange that I didn’t get sick even after that,” he said with a smile.

Park was known as a player with good fan service even during his active career. It was the first time for him to have an autograph session that lasted more than 5 hours. “I think I signed for 500 minutes before the match. Minimum of 1000 to 1500. The people who signed autographs after the game were about 1000 to 1500 minutes. If you count the number of autographs alone, it would be around 3000 to 4000.”

As is well known, one year and eight months have already passed since Commissioner Park finished his active duty.

This is the reason why he prepared such a special event.

“Isn’t it too long since I retired? In fact, even I had a feeling of diminishing excitement about retirement. It seemed to be the case with the fans as well. I thought the feeling of emotion would drop a bit.”

He continued, “So, I decided to make a retirement ceremony like a festival or an event. After a difficult ticket war, I wanted to do something to those who came in this hot weather.”

Unlike the general retirement ceremonies prepared by the club, Commissioner Park expressed his opinions through meetings one by one from preparations.

Park said, “I wanted to create a memorable retirement ceremony for baseball fans while preparing for the retirement ceremony with the club. There is probably no other player who talks so much with the club during his retirement ceremony. He meddled in every detail from one to ten, and nags. He also gave a lot of attention to the club.”

He continued, “Still, something seemed plain. I contemplated for a few days whether there was anything that could culminate in something. Then I decided to sign an unlimited number of autographs because I thought, ‘There are things I’m good at, there are things I’m good at’.”

The special retirement ceremony is also well expressed in the farewell speech. Instead of reading the script or letter he had prepared like any other player, he took up the microphone and honestly brought out the story he wanted to tell. “I just wanted to cry and laugh and do it naturally,” Park explained.

At the retirement ceremony, Commissioner Park confessed, “I haven’t played baseball happily for a single day since I first stepped into it.” Even star players who always look flashy have difficulties that cannot be said. just don’t express it.

Then, the words “I hope you all enjoyed it even if I didn’t enjoy it” evoked many emotions from many fans.

Commissioner Park said, “While standing in line (at the autograph session), more than half of the people told me the same story as if someone had educated me. “Thanks to you, I was happy, and I hope you will be really happy in the future.” That’s really memorable.”

“I felt like I was living a good life like any other player. There are a lot of seniors who played baseball much better than me, but there are few players who received as much love and attention as I did. I received so much attention and love beyond what I played in baseball. Commissioner Park said, “I once again felt grateful for that.” “On that day, I thought I was the happiest person in the world,” recalling a summer night that he will never forget for the rest of his life.

[서울=뉴시스]

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